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Following the end of the Kentish royal line, Mercia establishes itís supremacy over the kingdom. From the year 764 to c823/4 Kent is subject to Mercia. King Offa appoints sub kings to oversee the kingdom, however there are three periods of direct Mercian rule, firstly by Offa in 772 to 776 and again in 785 to 796. Then later in 807 to 823, by Coenwulf and then Coelwulf.
In 764 King Offa of Mercia ends the rule of Kings Eanmund and Sigered of Kent and imposes Mercian overlordship on kingdom. He appoints Heabert as a local king. In 765, Heabert is joined in ruling Kent by King Aethelbert IIís son Ecgbert II. Heabertís reign is brief and ends in 765.
During 765, King Aethelbert IIís son, Egbert II reigns alongside King Heabert, until the latter part of the year when Egbert takes over. Egbert is still a Mercian Sub king until 772, when King Offa re-asserts his control of Kent, and takes over direct rule. Direct rule continues till 776, at which time Egbert II defeats the Mercians at the Battle of Otford and re-asserts himself as King of Kent In 784, Prince Ealmund of Wessex appears as King of Kent, probably as a joint-monarch in some sort of alliance with his brother-in-law, King Egbert II. In 785, King Offa deposes King Egbert II and takes control of Kent once more. At this time Egbertís brother, Prince Eadbert Pren flees to the court of King Charlemagne in fear of his life. Egbert dies c784/5.
Kent had been under direct Mercian rule since the death of Egbert in c784/5. Following this, his brother, Prince Eadbert Pren had fled to the court of King Charlemagne and entered holy orders. In 796, (794 according to the Anglo Saxon Chronicles), Prince Eadbert Pren leaves the church and returns to Kent to claims his throne. Kent returns to independent rule for a period of 2 years. In 798, King Eadbert Pren battles against the Mercians. Coenwulf, King of Mercia, whose invasion force had managed to get as far as the marsh, defeated him. Eadbert is taken prisoner, although he was later set free. William of Malmesbury reports that following his release he was not received by his own subjects. The Anglo Saxon Chronicles state this occurred in 796 (which maintains the consistency of a two year reign). They also add a sensationalised story, of what terrible deeds the Mercians subjected the King to: [they] seized Edbert Pryn, led him bound into Mercia and suffered men to prick out his eyes and cut off his hands. This story has not been substantiated.
In 798, following the reassertion of Merica, King Coenwulf introduces his brother, Cuthred as sub king of Kent. Cuthred is reported to have reigned in name only, which is probably an accurate description of a sub king. He reigned for 8 years and died in 805.
In 805, following the death of Cuthred, Mercia appointed Baldred as sub king. William of Malmesbury describes him a mere abortion of a king, strong language indeed. There is little to say about his reign of 18 years except for the end. In 823, Egbert, King of Wessex, sent his son, Ethelwulf with a large army detachment, to invade Kent. Ethelwulf drove Baldred over the Thames, northwards and he went into exile. and following these victories, Kent submitted to Egbert, along with Surrey, Sussex, and Essex.
Egbert, King of Wessex, gives his son Aethelwulf the kingdom of Kent. Aethelwulf rules Kent as sub king under his father until 839, when his father dies, he then reigns in Wessex and his brother Athelstan takes over in Kent. Aethelwulfís first wife was Osburga whom he divorced in 853. He had six children and marries again later. Although Athelstan is ruling Kent, Aethelwulf still gets involved in some administrative matters as he is recorded giving money to Rochester priory in 841 and 855.